We can make a difference
They can't ignore us, the customers. Join our campaign to keep the Co-op Bank ethical.
The Co-operative Bank has grown to become one of the world's best-known ethical brands with its:
- unique business model of refusing to lend to companies breaching strict ethical standards on the environment, human rights and animal welfare, based on customers’ views
- high-profile campaigning on controversial issues like fossil fuels and cluster munitions
- mutual ownership through the UK's biggest consumer co-operative.
In 2013 the Bank announced that – for reasons unconnected to its ethics - it was in financial trouble. It proposed a 'recapitalistion plan' which would leave the majority of its shares owned by private investors, including a group of US hedge funds. This transfer was completed on December 20th.
Many customers were concerned that this could be the death knell for its principled position. But in October 2013 some customers decided to take a stand and set up the Save Our Bank Campaign.
We believe that the new owners will need to be careful to preserve the bank’s current ethical approach, or they will end losing customers and damaging the value of their investment. This gives us influence over the decisions the bank will take in the coming months.
Cartoon by Martin Rowson, thanks to Martin and Red Pepper magazine
We are saying don’t switch yet. Sign up to our campaign instead. We were amazed by the response and already have many thousands of signed-up supporters. The more of us there are, the more we can make our voice heard.
The campaign has two main aims:
- to make sure the bank sticks to its customer-led Ethical Policy, and ultimately
- to help the bank return to co-operative ownership.
In December we spoke directly to Euan Sutherland on your behalf - chief executive of The Co-operative Group. He gave some important assurances about the Ethical Policy in the medium term. The Co-operative Group however is no longer fully in control.
Our current campaigning priorities are outlined here.
Add your voice: sign up to the campaign